An Open Letter to Dave Freer

My previous attempts to explain this don’t seem to have sunk in yet, so let me say it again. I am not in anyway that I am aware of related to, married to, employed by or have ever even met Foz Meadows or Toby Meadows. All I know of them is what I’ve read on Foz Meadows blog in the past and information that has been publically shared in the past week. Don’t know them, haven’t met them. They seem like nice people but then I tend to think that about most people. Heck, I even thought you were just somebody having a hard time thinking clearly rather than actively nasty.

Yes, I *get* that you feel angry when somebody challenges what you say. That is natural. A healthy response is not to try and find desperate ways to make that other person feel angry. It genuinely is not good for you in terms of your own well being.

Directing those kinds of attacks at the WRONG person? I think even with your less than stellar reasoning powers should be able to see that is less than wise.

I won’t address much of what you wrote other than to say that it does you no favours. You seem now to have fully transferred your previous anger towards me onto the Meadows family. Foz Meadows is a better and more articulate writer than I and she has strong clear-headed friends. I don’t believe she needs me to fight her battles but it saddens me that you have decided to malign her and her family because I critiqued your arguments (in a way that even you acknowledge at least appeared to be polite).

However, there are a small number of elements in your post that do pertain to me which I’d like to point out.

“If I had wanted to break his anonymity, I’d do it.” – as I pointed out in my previous post I don’t know who set-up Lou Antonelli.

“I doubt it was either Dave Freer or Richard Paolinelli, despite their names being associated with this whole flap. Dave is too subtle (he’d rather have continued to make dark mutterings for longer) and Paolinelli is the exact opposite (he’d have just announced it himself if he had thought it was worth saying).”

“So: the question was asked as to why Fieldsy was so frantic to deny. After all, it would make him a hero among puppy kickers.” – I was ‘frantic’ to deny a false claim because:

  • it was false
  • it was clear that the Meadows family would be (at a minimum) threatened and verbally attacked. As you know, that did occur – indeed you were the source of one of the verbal attacks with your lurid speculation.

It is interesting that you see it as a flaw in my character to deny a false claim and to be concerned for others. I do not see those as flaws and I do not know why you do.

As for making me “a hero among puppy kickers” – it is true that public attention to this blog and my other writing has increased, as has my public profile. So, yes you are literally helping my reputation with this. Even so, I would rather you stop not only for the Meadows’ sake but for your own. I don’t believe in a supernatural soul per-se but I do believe that malicious actions hurt the person who perpetrates them in a personal way. At a minimum you are eventually going to feel very silly and not a good ‘silly’ either but rather the bad silly – the silly where you have unwittingly made a fool of yourself.

“It doesn’t help that Fieldsy went on the offensive against the book about one of MZB and Breen’s child victims” – I can only guess you mean Moira Greyland’s book ‘The Last Closet’ – I haven’t gone on any offensive with regard to her book. I haven’t read the book or reviewed it. I discussed her essay that was nominated for a Hugo in 2016. I assume you are thinking of somebody else. Given the confusion you are having with my identity it is possible that you may think I am yet some other person. I don’t know. However, I would suggest that if you wish to be known as a truthful person it may help you if you speak truthly. I have always found that helps me.

“addressing him as ‘Fieldsy’ (his name is Meadows) and having his endless turgid flow suddenly vanish along with him” – this seems like odd behaviour. I explained to you in 2016 that if you did not wish for me to comment at Mad Genius Club all you had to do was ask. Engaging in a complex “logic puzzle” and inventing a name strikes me as an impractical solution to a problem.

On to this piece:

“I’ll give another bit of advice to Fieldsy and Foz. When you’re in a hole, stop digging. There’s a lot of worse that I don’t think you’ve thought of that you could bring down on yourselves – and not from me. Nothing to do with me. At moment you could walk away with a bit of bruising and 10 years down the track everyone will have forgotten. Keep going and that stops being true. I don’t think you’ve thought of these things because you’re not very logical and not a quarter as bright as you think you are. I’d rather not spell them out in case you start blaming me when they do happen.”

I’m sorry but despite the caveats that certainly reads like a threat. Even give the most favourable reading of it sounds very much like you are saying OTHERS in the wider circle of the right wing science fiction/fantasy writer will attempt to silence myself (and Foz Meadows) if we “keep going”. Taking the reading that does you the most favours (i.e. a genuine warning) implies the people I discuss are the kinds of people who will attempt to silence their critics.

As an argument against my continued pseudonomity somebody saying something akin to ‘shut up or somebody will make you’ is a very, very poor one. However, sadly, here I think you are being more honest. You know what your allies are like, perhaps better than I and you characterise them aptly there. Yet this is also a continued reason to stay vocal – I already knew there are bullies out there. In the long run it is best not to be silent in the face of them but also to be cautious.

You let the cat out of the bag later on, although you reverse the players: ” if you can stop people saying what they think, you can convince them they’re isolated and possibly wrong. ” Yet here you are – angry at people saying what they think and muttering ominous warnings against them for doing so.

Anyway, in the unlikely event that you have read this far I will reiterate the core points. Whatever you may think of me please be aware that your current actions harm others more than they do me. Yes, I find the spectacle upsetting but truly, I am more of involuntary spectator than a participant.

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117 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Dave Freer

  1. Have these people never heard of the word “extortion”? Do they not realize that extortion is a CRIME, and might easily become prosecutable if carried too far?

    Seriously, this is like watching a sort of Darwinan car wreck. You can’t believe that people would act so idiotically against their own best interests (publicly making such fools of themselves), but you just can’t make yourself look away as their self-inflicted just desserts slowly unfold around them.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Kee-ripes, what a bunch of idiots.

        You’re right, Cam–there’s no use talking to them, beyond what you’ve done here. But I would keep every email, screenshot every tweet (and Toby and Foz should especially do so, now that these dolts have all but accused them of being child molesters), and build a folder in your defense to show to the police if necessary.

        My aunt had a phrase for situations like this: “Leave them alone in their glory.” Let them go on their merry, despicable way, until they crash and burn. Which they will inevitably do.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. At this point it really doesn’t matter if you do or don’t speak up, in terms of what the Puppies will do. Either way it’ll lead to more attacks and ridiculousness. So you may as well keep a record of their nastiness for all to see.

    Anyway it’s been absolutely fascinating reading, seeing how deeply they’ll bury themselves into something obviously insane.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks – third draft. An earlier draft made an important point about his argument with zero subtlety but they wouldn’t have got and would have reacted so very, very badly without noticing it was the exact same argument Dave was making.

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      1. Probably wise of you to cut it. I worry that any response from you, no matter how mild, just adds fuel to the fire at this point — it gives somebody a medal of bravery for surviving an attack from the Two Syllogism-packing Satan.

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  3. Yowch, his treatment of Jim C Hines:

    “And for the record I can find no statement by Commissar Hines denouncing the left wing feminist lesbian-bi MZB or Breen, or expressing any sympathy or support for their victims, so one has to ask: why does HE finds it suddenly so bad to have someone compared to them?”

    In reality, Hines was one of the first people to blog on the subject of MZB’a abuse, as Freer would have known had he bothered to enter “Jim C Hines Marion Zimmer Bradley” into Google:

    http://www.jimchines.com/2014/06/rape-abuse-and-mzb/

    I’m tempted to leave this as a comment on the post, but somehow, I suspect that’d merely result in me being incorporated into these lurid conspiracy theories.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it – the commenters there aren’t self-censoring very well right now and they’d just wind themselves up into a anti-Doris frenzy.

      The thing is when they are like that there is NO comment that is not a species of trolling (i.e. all the impact is in the affective domain rather than the cognitive) no matter how sensible, reasonable or polite.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. “The thing is when they are like that there is NO comment that is not a species of trolling (i.e. all the impact is in the affective domain rather than the cognitive) no matter how sensible, reasonable or polite.”

        That is exactly why I haven’t commented on any of the Scrappy sites regarding this debacle. There is no communication with them – they will refuse to believe anything I say is sincere.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I don’t think there was much of a gap between the revelations (about Bradley’s own crimes) and VD taking up the issue.

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      2. But I think he must have been taking an interest before that, as ‘Safe Space as Rape Room’ was published (by Castalia House) in 2015.

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    2. When I saw that bit my first thought was that it was surely wrong and was going to do the five-second Google required to disprove it – but you’ve beaten me to it. When one of Dave’s claims can be debunked in seconds then the credibility of the rest is pretty low.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Oh, and he’s also left this comment:

      “Yep. They always lie, always double down. And because the end justifies the means for them, and it’s all about power, none of the issues and minorities they raise a screech about matter to them. They use them because they’re useful. Yet they all kept silent when the pawns were abused by Harvey Weinstein. Indeed, they procured for him – because he was a major donor and a major Hollywood producer, providing their propaganda. They’ve offered not a word, not one word, of contrition over what their side enabled in Breen and MZB. Not a word of sympathy for the victims. And as you say, to them NAMBLA supporters are cool. So for them to preach morality is just another of their lies-for-power.”

      Is he seriously arguing that Harvey Weinstein and Marion Zimmer Bradley were enabled by the same group of people?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Good grief, did Dave genuinely miss the collective “OMG that’s horrible” when Moira Greyland’s story first came out?
        I think the most charitable interpretation is that Dave is indulging in willful ignorance.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. So we are responsible for what happens in Hollywood now? Never mind that I had zero idea about Harvey Weinstein’s political views and sexual behaviour. All I knew was that he produced movies I didn’t care for.

        As for MZB and Breen, maybe the reason we don’t talk about it now is because we talked about it in 2014, when the allegations first came to light.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Cora: So we are responsible for what happens in Hollywood now? Never mind that I had zero idea about Harvey Weinstein’s political views and sexual behaviour. All I knew was that he produced movies I didn’t care for.

        Yes, that’s a really clunky sleight-of-hand he’s attemptng, isn’t it, trying to pretend that a bunch of SFF fans are somehow responsible for Weinstein’s abuses.

         
        Cora: As for MZB and Breen, maybe the reason we don’t talk about it now is because we talked about it in 2014, when the allegations first came to light.

        I frequently still see fans (including me) mentioning that they can no longer read MZB’s works or recommend them to others, and expressing grief and anger over what she didi to her children. But if he’s going to deliberately ignore Hines’ very public statement on it (if you put Hines Zimmer into Google, it’s the 5th result), then of course he’s going to ignore all of the other commentary and condemnations as well, because they don’t support the phony story he’s invented. (I have been unable to find any comment from him on it back in 2014, when the rest of us were talking about it, so his more recent concern seems suspiciously self-serving.)

        Liked by 6 people

      4. The “they” that the Puppies are referring to is “everybody we don’t like.” Clearly, we are all engaged in a big conspiracy against them, because they are so scary and important.

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      5. Dave: “And because the end justifies the means for them, and it’s all about power, none of the issues and minorities they raise a screech about matter to them. They use them because they’re useful.”

        That’s pretty much the Pup playbook, isn’t it?

        It’s like with Trump — whatever the Pups accuse others of doing, that’s what they’ve been doing all along.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Dishonesty and projection are two of the hallmarks of the Scrappy Pups. When Freer says that the non-Pups “don’t actually care” about any of the issues and minorities that non-Pups bring up, what he is revealing is that the Scrappy Pups don’t actually care about the things they are so loudly screaming about – especially their hand-wringing and crocodile tears about Greyland and child abuse. It is obvious that they only care about her and MZB because Greyland is “on their side” and if she had come out against them they would be hammering her as some sort of terrible person.

        To be blunt, the Scrappy Pups continuous demands that fandom “denounce” MZB (notwithstanding the fact that most of fandom was well out in front of the Scrappy Pups in expressing shock and revulsion over the revelations about MZB) are almost Stalinesque. I don’t think I have ever read anything by MZB (though I may have, much of my reading when I was younger was guided by what was available in the school libraries of schools located in African countries, so I read a lot of stuff without paying attention to who the authors were, picking out the books because those were what was there), and when I found out about the allegations against her and Breen, they had both been dead for over a decade. I have some of her books, but it is unlikely that I will ever read them at this point. I’m certainly not going to spend time promoting or praising her.

        It is unclear what the Scrappy Pups expect fandom to do now that they have not done. Its not like anyone can actually take action against a dead author. It seems that the actual answer is that they don’t actually care about the issue other than it seems like a handy club to beat their enemies with. The fact that they are wielding it dishonestly and have to rewrite history to do so is of no concern to them. The Scrappy Pups are dishonest to the core, so a little more isn’t that big a deal to them.

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      7. ? It’s just random shit now. The falsehood about Jim Hines not discussing the Breens is so easily refuted and yet he’s happy to continue with it.

        Notable how much more free to make stuff up he feels now that I won’t comment at MGC…

        Liked by 2 people

      8. I think there’s an element of “can dish it out but can’t take it” here as well. Any criticism of the Pups is the worst thing ever–look at all the crap Mike Glyer got for doing little more than linking to their blog posts.

        At the same time, Camestros and the Meadows not only deserve the weird and evidence-free attacks they’ve received, and in fact are lucky they don’t get more.

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      9. There’s a reason that Torgersen and Correia got reputations as being the thinnest-skinned men in the genre fiction world, but really, the appellation could apply to all of the Scrappy Pups.

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      10. I read The Mists of Avalon as a teenager approx. 30 years ago, when everybody read it, because it was a huge mainstream success. I also read a very early short story by MZB which contained some creepy incest stuff that becomes even more creepy in the light of latter revelations. That’s all I have ever read by her, though I may have forgotten a short story or two. I don’t think I have ever read anything by Breen. Not to mention that MZB has been dead for 19 years and Breen for even longer. So why exactly are we supposed to denounce two rotting corpses at every opportunity?

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      11. If you wait for every opportunity, then you just aren’t criticizing these long-dead people enough. (Not that there is a level that would satisfy those guys.

        It is a game, similar to a creationist doing the old “Okay, you did provide the fossil I asked for that connects XX”’ to XX””. Now how about a fossil that connects the gap between THAT and…” (Won’t be satisfied even if you get a set of fossils you can photograph one by one to make a movie of evolution happening before their eyes. So too with this side issue of Enough Ritual Scorning. See also the child who asks “Why?” and repeats the question after every answer Mommy gives.)

        Liked by 3 people

    4. “In reality, Hines was one of the first people to blog on the subject of MZB’a abuse, as Freer would have known had he bothered to enter “Jim C Hines Marion Zimmer Bradley” into Google:”

      You’re never in a good situation when the only two options are that you’re Gloriously Stupid or Virulently Dishonest. (Yes, I’m aware that in this case it’s not an either/or situation)

      But it’s nice to know that a child sexual abuse survivor is nothing more than a prop for them. I wonder what will happen to that conversation when she stops being a useful weapon to be used to bash people with?

      Liked by 2 people

    5. Indeed. Jim Hines’ blog was where I first learned about the MZB/Breen history.

      It was so-called “SJWs,” not the Puppy clique, who found, blogged about, and linked to the information exposing the late MZB & Breen. (Then Puppies started irrationally howling that by exposing MZB & Breen and condemning what they did, so-called “SJWs” were, uh, “defending” and “excusing” MZB & Breen. That tirelessly repeated puppy allegation makes about as much sense as claiming that the moon is made of feta cheese.)

      Moreover, wondering how this guy who’s been asserting his mastery at investigating IP addresses “can find no statement by Commissar Hines denouncing the left wing feminist lesbian-bi MZB or Breen, or expressing any sympathy or support for their victims,” a few minutes ago I typed “Jim Hines MZB” into Google and, lo and behold, the first link that immediately pops up is the 2014 blog post in which Jim exposes the information about MZB & Breen, describes the events with words like “rape” and “abuse” (explanation to Puppy clique: those words CONDEMN rather than CONDONE what MZB & Breen did), and expresses sympathy and support for their victims (ex. “The damage [MZB & Breen] inflicted lives on. Are you going to tell victims of rape/abuse that nobody’s allowed to acknowledge what was done to them?”).

      Someone who is unable even to find that blog post, which merely requires a quick internet search, certainly does not strike me as someone who has the faintest idea how IP addresses work—a more complicated thing than typing 3 words into Google, after all. I now think this whole idiotic incident of his clique repeatedly insisting Foz Meadows is married to a blogger she’s never met mwa-ha-ha-ha! etc., etc., etc…. Is based on this guy flat-out LYING about having looked up an IP address. I mean, really, does he come across as someone who even knows what an IP address -is-?

      Liked by 4 people

    6. I remember Hines’ anguished response when the story broke on the blog posts, before the Castalia House essay. I had the same temptation, Doris, and decided against it for exactly the reasons you & Camestros cite. That, and I’ve never seen correcting Freer improve a situation, no matter how clear the facts were.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave Freer has been an author close to my hearth since I read Rats bats and Vats when it was published, because this book (co-wrriten with Eric Flint) was so funny (and I’m usually not looking for funny in my readings). (and the sequel were funny too, as the Pyramid books)
    I have not re-read it since Freer shown his current “behaviour”, but I’m already feeling betrayed. No big deal but still, sad and disappointing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He can be nice and as far as I saw you were always treated kindly at MGC. I’ve had some nice conversation with people there – it’s a shame they’ve got themselves so worked up this way.

      I’m worried about how angry he will be when he works out he really screwed up this time.

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  5. So that you “disappeared” after he called you Fieldsy is proof that you’re Meadows? If my secret last name were Meadows, and he called me Fieldsy, I’d more likely blink in confusion than flee in fear; I really doubt I’d make the connection. Freer seems to be one of those people who think that the way their minds work must be obvious to everyone else.

    The whole “Ah hah!! You denied you’re Toby Meadows, which proves you ARE Toby Meadows” thing is like witch-dunking, but stupider. It would be laughable but for the harassment the Meadowses are going through, and the likelihood that it will get worse. We’ve seen what even small intern mobs are capable of.

    Been following along on Twitter, but my name’s attached to that account, so I’ve stayed out of the scrum. Do they think we haven’t seen this playbook before?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I should pull out (and maybe redraw) a cartoon I did back in the 70s. Two panels:

      GOOFUS (to kid): “Give me a quarter or I’ll beat you up!”
      GALLLANT (to same kid): “I can keep Goofus from beating you up for fifty cents.”

      Liked by 5 people

  6. I don’t know whether to start by describing Freer’s screed as despicable or dumb first, so I will embrace the power of “and”.

    Despite the figleaf of “just askin'” he’s basically accusing the Meadows of being child abusers. They have at least one young child. That’s an accusation that could travel beyond internet nonsense and cause very real distress to them. Despicable.

    And then there’s dumb. Dave says he didn’t tell anyone his theory, not even Sarah or Brad. And yet you have a screenshot of Sarah saying Dave knows who you are. (Devil’s advocate: conceivably Dave said he knew but didn’t say exactly who).
    Dave says the confirming evidence is IP addresses, but didn’t tell Antonelli. Antonelli says he heard from multiple sources. The only people who could have done the same IP tracking are the ones whose blogs you commented on – so the mad geniuses, Larry, Brad? You yourself said you doubted it was Dave directly. So we should believe that a bunch of interconnected people did the same independent research, came to the same erroneous conclusion, and that conclusion ended up in the hands of Antonelli, a SP fringe player, but never came to the attention of Dave, an inner SP player? It’s not slam-dunk proof that Dave is lying, but it’s…implausible….compared to the idea that Dave spread his theory around the group and it eventually made its way to Antonelli.

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      1. It reads like an attempt to thread the needle of what he’s previously stated, without being careful enough to check it all. He can’t keep straight whether he scared you off with “Fieldsy”, banned you himself, or someone else banned you.
        If he had a solid case he’d be posting dates and alleged IP locations to match up with what he claims.

        Liked by 4 people

      1. Possible reasons:
        Dave is bad with computers
        Dave isn’t really addressing anyone who needs evidence to be persuaded
        Dave doesn’t have any evidence
        I’d say a combo of the second and third.

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      2. I think publishing IP addresses might be a direct violation of WordPress’s terms & conditions, so he probably can’t do that anyway. He also seems to have backed off a little on that claim since the last post.

        A comment published at Lou Antonelli’s blog from somebody who has no reason to do me a favour shows me having an ip in Sydney when the Meadows where in Scotland…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Also if you know anything about the Australian ISP market, you’ll know that the country is desperately short of IP addresses, and its ISP’s aggressively scavenge IP addresses for reuse – so it’s near impossible to track anyone from Australia via IP address.

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  7. Thank you for responding to this whole thing as steadily and reasonably as you have. It must be fairly disconcerting.

    I’ve been (more by reflex than anything) thinking of various possible arguments and points to be made to them to maybe chip away at the edges of this blind certainty, except that in light of the behavior on display, I absolutely don’t trust them with my IP address.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Freer’s threats always seem to be “Stop mocking us by portraying the Scrappy Pups ridiculous and stupidly incompetent comic book villains or we will continue to act like ridiculous and stupidly incompetent comic book villains”.

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      1. Phil, I don’t think so either. Not ones who actually care about him enough to suggest that he might wanna chill a bit, even if they agree with… whatever his position is right now.

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  9. I was checking there out of curiosity to see if one of the True Keepers of the Science Fiction Flame had written anything about Le Guin (not surprisingly, none of them had cared enough to do so) and I saw that. The comments are (if possible) even more sickening than the post. I want badly to go there to post Jim Hines’ blog about MZB just to break up the obnoxious circle jerk on the perfection of their genius in slander. I don’t particularly care about them getting my IP address (I live in New York, and they can’t exactly pretend there’s only ONE person I could be there) but I’m worried I might somehow make things worse for the people being attacked. What do you all think?

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    1. I think nothing you post will change anyone’s mind or do any conceivable good, and you will only be adding yourself as a new chewtoy for them, but if you need to do it to feel right with yourself, do it.

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    2. I doubt that posting contradictory facts will change their minds. The thing to understand about the Scrappy Pups and their ardent core of followers is that they are conspiracy theorists, and when conspiracy theorists are confronted with contradictory facts, they don’t change their minds, they just incorporate the new facts into their conspiracy.

      For example, when it turned out that the Pizza restaurant that was the focus of Pizzagate not only didn’t have a secret sex basement, it didn’t have a basement at all, that didn’t deter those pushing the conspiracy. When the new administration came in and no one was prosecuted for anything, they didn’t think “hey, maybe this was just a ridiculous conspiracy theory”, they said “there are people being prosecuted, but to keep the ringleaders from knowing, the arrests and prosecutions and convictions are secret.” That’s why you sometimes see people posting about why some celebrity or another is wearing a cast, or boots, or some other bulky item on their ankle or wrist – they have supposedly been secretly arrested, tried in a secret court, and convicted and are wearing an ankle or wrist monitor as part of their secret sentence. It is insane, but almost nothing will change a conspiracy theorist’s mind.

      If you post a link to Hines’ post on the subject, they will come up with an excuse for why it “doesn’t count”. They’ll say that he hastily wrote it yesterday and backdated it on his blog. Or that he wrote it, but was insincere and just virtue signaling. Or that he wrote it, but it is actually an attack on sex abuse victims and support for Bradley. or some other nonsense. Or some combination of a dozen mutually contradictory theories. It won’t matter to them that none of it makes any sense, because it will assure them that their enemies are in the wrong, facts and reality be damned.

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      1. Here’s one example of how the Pups have handled the matter:
        Wikipedia’s article on MZB links to the Hines piece from 2014 in a section on the reaction to Greyland’s allegations from SFF authors. Infogalactic does not; not because it picked up an old version of the Wikipedia article and haven’t updated it, but because it was edited out just over a year ago

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      2. Okay, that’s weird. I got this from Freer:
        “But Jayne I haven’t heard YOUR condemnation. And not just once tepidly avoiding all facts about their political, feminist and gay credentials that they traded on, and in your own name, Jayne. Come now Jayne – that’s your sides rules. Condemn the Lesbian Feminist MZB and her gay ‘husband’ and their actions and the way your side covered for them. Do it now, Jayne. Not once, but publicly and often, and condemn and demand the isolation of all – including the current SFWA chairman whose condemnation was either absent or infrequent, or luke-warm. And guilt-by-association of ALL who fail to condemn and denounce with sufficient vigor. Those are YOUR sides rules Jayne. Live by them. Post that full condemnation every time you post as a prelude – or don’t post again.
        Come on Jayne. Live by YOUR rules. Show us.”
        Then a few minutes later, this:
        “Mea culpa – that’s actually quite a good post by commissar Hines. I’ll modify my post accordingly. Of course Hines omitted any mention of her and her ‘husband’ use of their left-wing feminist credentials or their homosexuality. Because none of those sets of people can be evil. Except of course, like the rest of humanity, they can.
        Good sea-lion attempt, Jayne.”
        The extreme mixing of messages is dizzying. Part of me feels I ought to press the point that if he was wrong about THIS fairly easily verifiable thing, he may very well be wrong about other easily verifiable allegations he’s making that can easily harm a family. But I need some time to think over how it might be put.

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      3. Incoherent ranting is about what I’d expect out of Freer, so his rambling and mutually contradictory e-mails to you are about what I would have expected. Notice him moving the goal posts here – it isn’t enough that Hines actually wrote about MZB and the allegations against her when the news first broke, he has to denounce other people for not coming out against MZB “hard enough” (despite the fact that MZB had been dead for more than a decade when the news came to light, and it was “our side” that brought it to light, and not “his”). Not only that you have to denounce everyone for some reason.

        Its the wild-eyed conspiracy theorist in him. His enemies must be wrong, so he’ll redefine the “problem” as often as he needs to in order to condemn them. It will sell well among the sycophants at MGC, but it will fall flat with everyone else who sees his screed. But that’s just evidence that there is a “lefty cover-up” in his mind – remember, conspiracy theorists never see anything in contradictory evidence that makes them think they are wrong, they just incorporate it into their increasingly delusional fantasies.

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    3. Jeffro Johnson wrote about Ursula K. Le Guin, only to point out that her fiction was dull and overrated compared to his pulp era favourites and that she was only revered because she had the right politics.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. “There’s a lot of worse that I don’t think you’ve thought of that you could bring down on yourselves – and not from me. Nothing to do with me. At moment you could walk away with a bit of bruising and 10 years down the track everyone will have forgotten. Keep going and that stops being true. I don’t think you’ve thought of these things because you’re not very logical and not a quarter as bright as you think you are. I’d rather not spell them out in case you start blaming me when they do happen.”

    What in the world is this absurd man nattering about? What dastardly horror does he think he and his chums have the power to visit upon you? Will they Tweet you to death? Call you more childish names? Blame you for JFK’s assassination? Complain to the police in Brisbane/Aberdeen/wherever that you criticize them online?

    The threats they like to utter in that clique certainly underline just how silly they are.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. First off, this is a case of Freer projecting. He clearly doesn’t see how this sort of thing is essentially doing a scorched Earth routine on his own career. Sure, he may have an ardent core of followers from MGC, but the ceiling on that fandom is quite low. (Of course, in the Scrappy Pups’ minds, they represent the “will of the masses” and as soon as they can dislodge the shadowy Illuminati that control publishing, Hollywood, and pop culture, they will be hailed as the heroes they see themselves as).

      The thing to understand about the Pups is that they are not only conspiracy theorists, they believe literally everything is transactional. No one does anything without the goal of some sort of financial gain for themselves. Thus, they think that Cam is in this to get an advantage and make money for himself – apparently by somehow improving Foz’s publishing prospects by making the Pups look bad (I didn’t say their conspiracy theories were rooted in reality or made any sense). The idea that Cam is just a guy who enjoys writing silly stuff on the internet and mocking the ridiculous stupidity of the Pups is a notion that is entirely alien to them. Cam has to be wanting some kind of monetary gain from this blog, and since they see themselves as the leaders of the future of publishing (after the revolution that is just a few years down the road, and always will be), they will make sure that Cam doesn’t get that financial benefit that they are convinced he is looking for.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. That is exceedingly silly.

        Success in publishing comes from selling a lot of copies of one’s book(s). The vast majority of readers are people browsing at bookstores or online vendors or libraries, looking for a good book. Not enough readers follow sf/f online feuds—and/or base their book-purchasing decisions on online writer feuds—to support a writing career.

        Someone who thinks that pursuing an online feud in the sf/f community will help a writing career is someone who (a) has extremely low standards of “success” and/or (b) doesn’t know anything about publishing.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. The thing about conspiracy theories is that they don’t have to make sense. They just have to make the people spinning them feel comforted. The notion that there is some secret cabal blocking them from the huge success they believe is their just due is obviously a comforting fiction for the Pups to indulge in.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ‘Cabal’ is key here. Central to Dave’s theory is that the meat robot is a *somebody* who is part of the Chorfian axis working against him. The idea that the guy doing the typing now has zero connections to wider fandom is unthinkable because if it were true then the whole Sad Puppy narrative flips. Of course we all know, regardless of whatever ‘trufan’ credentials we have that the actual Puppy campaign really did bring in many outsiders to vote AGAINST them – various kinds of lurker fans

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      4. The idea that everything you do must be to make money or to market your works is depressingly common in the wider indie writer community, of which the puppies are a fringe part. Blogging because you enjoy rambling on about whatever subject strikes your fancy, tweeting because you enjoy talking to people, writing the books you want to write rather than whatever “the market” (i.e. American Amazon readers) wants is all considered a waste of time by these folks. There even are people who advocate doing everything you can to appeal to the right audience and drive the wrong audience away, because otherwise you will pollute your also-boughts and confuse Amazon’s algorithms. The Scrappies are an example of what happens if this attitude is driven to extremes.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. That was one of Dave’s objections to my comments at MGC – he had to spend time refuting them and that didn’t help him sell books. I think that was the time when he was accusing the EPH guys of professional misconduct because they had taken part in the threads on EPH at Making Light.

        But you know…Dave’s dead against guilt by association…

        Liked by 2 people

      6. “Central to Dave’s theory is that the meat robot is a *somebody* who is part of the Chorfian axis working against him. The idea that the guy doing the typing now has zero connections to wider fandom is unthinkable because if it were true then the whole Sad Puppy narrative flips.”
        The irony is that it’s arguable that you *do* have more connections to wider fandom than Freer – if by ‘wider fandom’ you mean ‘people who read SFF and enjoy talking and arguing about books with other people who read SFF’, rather than ‘people who rage-blog nonstop about the evil SJWs in the bizarre conviction that it will increase their book sales’.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. There are, unfortunately, some things Freer and his followers can do to harm Camestros and the Meadows family — especially the Meadowses, since I gather Toby is a known person who goes out in public. All they have to do, really, is rile up their unstable followers, and then stochastic terrorism (some random person reading their blogs and taking it into their heads to do something instead of just sitting in Mom’s basement) might take over.

      In fact, the more I think about this the more worried I’m getting, to the point where I hope everyone involved has shown these texts to their local police, in case something does happen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well there is one that would be revealing. A friend nominated in the Dragon Awards on behalf of Timothy (identifiably so) – so if the Dragon admin leaked emails a Pup might try and claim I nominated twice etc by claiming Tim’s address was me. Which they’d fluff up as evidence of a thing. I assume though the Dragon admin has more sense than that but I might be wrong.

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      2. Some of those folks have already announced that they are going to complain to the university where Toby Meadows works. Of course, the allegations are complete and utter bunk, but Toby Meadows might still have to explain this to someone in the university administration (and try explaining crap like this to any sane person).

        The insinuations that the Meadowses are child abusers also have the potential to do real harm, if someone decides to involve social services or child protection services or whatever it’s called in Australia. They should be easily cleared, but even then a record remains, which could have negative consequences later on, e.g. if Australia is a country where you need a “This person is not a child abuser or pedophile” certificate to work with young people, because any contact with child protective services or law enforcement, no matter how trivial, is put on record and can prevent you from getting that clearance.

        And then there is the risk of a nutcase with a weapon deciding to take matters in their own hands. So I do hope that the Meadowses keep screenshots of everything.

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      3. Cam, the Dragon administrator is a friend of Larry’s, willingly participates in the shammiest award that ever shammed, and hasn’t even gotten the “sweepstakes contest” boilerplate off the page. I’d say the chances of them having any sense are slim and none.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. I keep thinking that at some point they’ll discover a line that ought not to be crossed – like attacking someone’s family for example – but they just keep on jumping over those lines. I remember their horror at anything that even smelt of mentioning family, e.g. Brad’s wife (which to be fair I thought skirted way too close to that line for comfort even though Brad technically started that point) and now they’re just dragging in anything that could help them score a point. I think they’ve lost their sense of proportion.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Here’s the extent of my personal involvement. I was at a convention in Arizona in ’77 or ’78 (my first non-local con!), and had been looking for a chance, any chance, to play piano for a little while. There was one piano at the hotel, up in the banquet room. I waited for the room to empty out, then slipped in and sat at the piano. But I had been spotted. Another fan from my own state said, “Oh, you like music!” and concluded that I would THEREFORE want to hear her sing a lengthy filk slagging one of the Iguanacon factions. Verse after verse, while I couldn’t think of a way to get her to stop.

    When she had finished, I started playing Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in d minor (that one), and while I was playing, MZB and a bunch of acolytes came in and sat down, and she started playing her little harp (a very portable instrument, unlike, say, a piano), and before I’d finished the piece, one of them came over and indicated that it was rude to make audible sounds while she was playing. So much for that. I didn’t get another chance to play until I was home again.

    I never picked up anything she wrote after that, and I have nurtured this petty grudge ever since then.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Kip, that was an intentional pun on Sacred Harp music, right? I’m very fond of it and sang a lot in my youth.

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      2. Yes! I have been aware of Sacred Harp since spending some of my misspent years in the company of Jon Singer. I’ll bet my singing would be stronger now if I’d spent more time doing it.

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    1. Kip: I wonder that the Pups haven’t told Moira that she thus must abjure playing the harp. Which she does, and pretty well. But she learned it from the dreaded MZB and thus the harp is UNCLEAN!!!

      Also, your remark reminds me of the old joke “You’re from Earth? You must know Jon Singer!”

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I should also note that Australian ISPs are some of the world’s biggest users of caching proxies; I wonder if someone is confusing border proxy addresses with actual IP addresses. It wouldn’t surprise me…

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I’ve been posting this around recently, because I think it ought to be more widely known that there’s an actual study showing that conspiracy theorists do not care about contradictions in their beliefs.

    Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories

    Abstract:

    Conspiracy theories can form a monological belief system: A self-sustaining worldview comprised of a network of mutually supportive beliefs. The present research shows that even mutually incompatible conspiracy theories are positively correlated in endorsement. In Study 1 (n = 137), the more participants believed that Princess Diana faked her own death, the more they believed that she was murdered. In Study 2 (n = 102), the more participants believed that Osama Bin Laden was already dead when U.S. special forces raided his compound in Pakistan, the more they believed he is still alive. Hierarchical regression models showed that mutually incompatible conspiracy theories are positively associated because both are associated with the view that the authorities are engaged in a cover-up (Study 2). The monological nature of conspiracy belief appears to be driven not by conspiracy theories directly supporting one another but by broader beliefs supporting conspiracy theories in general.

    (PDF)

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Owlmirror, that’s a good link. You’re right, it should be more widely known. Shows that reasoning with Pups is useless.

      What I want to know now, is it a mirror decorated with owls, a mirror made by owls, a mirror used by owls, a mirror that only reflects owls, or all of the above?

      I just have this mental picture of a mirror that has a wooden frame carved with owls, and an owl is holding it in one talon and looking at itself.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow, that’s a whole lot of homophobia bundled together from Freer, with the usual bigoted comments and ridiculous accusations and threats towards LGBTQ people. There’s not much you can say, Cam; Freer isn’t after you, he’s after Foz Meadows, I guess because she’s useful symbolically since they don’t know each other. He mobilized people and now they don’t stop because if they stop they don’t get the right wing credits for the bashing. And I doubt sincerely, looking at that screed, that Freer certainly is going to stop until he’s seriously harmed her in some way beyond the mental harassment. I’m not entirely sure on the details of Australian law on libel, hate crimes and restraining orders, but I do hope at this point they’re talking to a lawyer and taking safety precautions. And I’m really hoping this guy Freer doesn’t have a history of physical violence, although the bigger threat there is probably guys in Brisbane who read this crap, decide that the Meadows are running a pedophile ring and stalk them.

    When this started, it was kind of fascinating because it was just so bizarre and over the top. But it turns out to be the same old forms of violent bigotry, way beyond what most of those people tried before when they were just whining about awards. These are not nice people, none of them. They’re violent and some of them seem to get off on it. This has become a prime example why I fear for my nearest and dearest who are LGBTQ.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. I find this all quite depressing. I just read Foz Meadows’ post, and it’s heartbreaking.

    Freer seems to be going off the deep end, with no excuse for his increasingly weird and offensive behavior. And Eric Flint’s website just announced the December publication of a book he’s co-written with Freer, the latest in the Heirs of Alexandria series, of which I’m quite fond. Now I’m facing a tough decision: whether to buy the book, thus supporting Freer in part, or to pass on the book and avoid reading something I suspect I’d otherwise like.

    Fucking hell. No, I take that back. Fucking Freer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah…things get a bit clearer. A Puppy has a book coming out and is coincidentally stirring up shit, so when it is released it will be ‘buy my book to show how much you hate those Puppy-kickers!’

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Again, if Freer believes that, he’s exceedingly silly. (In addition to his already silly behavior online, I mean.)

        Eric Flint is a bestseller. His name on the book cover is what’s going to sell a lot of copies. Not Freer urging a few blog followers to buy his book because they enjoy his online feuding.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Ah, consider the optics of “evul sjws blacklist cancer survivor Flint.”
      More seriously, what’s the balance of registering your disapproval of Freer while Flint takes an underserved hit?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. When it comes to book sales, their nonsense isn’t even a drop in the bucket. Maybe it matters if you write for a tiny fly-by-night press aimed primarily/specifically at the crowd who follow Puppy-type blogs—and we can all easily think of a couple of examples of those. But in terms of major publishing houses, this online-feuding is irrelevant.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I suspect I’ll just punt and read a copy from one of my local libraries. The series is popular enough that I’m sure that one or two of them will pick it up. I’m also sure that Eric F. is doing well enough that he won’t miss my small addition to his royalties. I just feel a little squeamish about doing anything that will give the libraries in question the idea that buying works by Freer is a good idea. Oh, well. It’s not as though I haven’t bought an awful lot of stuff by the Rolling Stones over the years, notwithstanding both Jagger’s behavior and some of their lyrics.

        P.S. Laura R., have you anything coming out in the near future?

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Coincidentally, since Eric Flint has cancer, he doesn’t need the grief of his co-author going off the deep end and attacking random people over made up conspiracy theories either.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I’ve been increasingly POd at Flint for enabling these assholes for a few years now. He’s a pretty shitty socialist if he’s in business with and lending his good name to people who are manifestly against the equality of all humans (And also against all humans having access to good cancer doctors like Flint does).

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I have to confess that I never cared for Flint’s fiction, if only because he got even the most basic things about my home country and its history wrong (and everybody who know how I feel about former East Germany would be surprised to see me so pissed off about someone getting details about Saxonia and Thuringia wrong, but I am). As for Flint himself, he never struck me as a socialist, at least not in the way anybody here would define that term (but then neither does Bernie Sanders), and he did have way too many excuses for arseholish behaviour and also seemed to think that whatever sells in the closest bookstore to wherever he lives is also what sells in the wider world. In short, he struck me like a well-meaning dude who was caught up very much inside a US bubble.

        What is more, Eric Flint is very ill and he doesn’t deserve to have a nutty co-author jeopardise sales for his latest work

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  16. At any rate, regardless of how infantile their vague threats are, their verbal attacks are hurtful. Their harassment is distracting. Their baseless accusations repeatedly become a time sink for others. Their tail-chasing, irrational arguments induce migraines in reasonable people. They waste people’s time, focus, and energy on their absurdities.

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    1. That’s another aspect of their silencing tactics. If Cam and Meadowses are busy responding to puppy harrassment and increasingly strange conspiracy theories, they don’t have time to write books or philosophy papers or blog about the latest episode of Star Trek Discovery or edited Timothy’s latest magnum opus.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. It must have been so frustrating that they were trying to attack Foz through Cam, and Cam/the meat robot wasn’t picking up what their cutesy snide references were insinuating. And why should he, since they weren’t aimed at him? Nope, Dave had to gin up some “evidence” from a fever dream and a lack of understanding computers and then wind up Lou and set him off.

    Liked by 2 people

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